sFRP3 and Being sad (a good thing?)

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Mice lacking a protein called DKK1 develop more new neurons (right) compared with controls (left).
Mice lacking a protein called DKK1 develop more new neurons (right) compared with controls (left).

Scientist discovered how antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive therapy works. They found out that these therapy methods reduce the Secreted frizzled-related protein 3 (sFRP3), which is in turn an inhibitor to the creation of new neurons in our brain. (1, 2, 3)

This same protein increases in our body as we get older, thus playing also a role in diseases like Alzheimer. Protein DKK1 also plays a similar role. (4)

Strange. Is it in our Nature to die and get more depressed?

Wow.

If depression is such an integral part of our life, maybe it is a good thing? Could we have overlooked such an important aspect of our existence?

I am leaving now. I am going to go sad…

Quails, camouflage, society…

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Female Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) lay their eggs on the ground where they can make tempting meals for rodents, snakes, and deer. But as new research published in the journal Current Biology shows, these mothers choose areas on the ground that best match their eggs’ patterns (as the composite picture above shows). [1]

We look a lot like quails in our thinking.

We are used to camouflage our true thoughts in such a way so as to match the “pattern ” of the “common sense” society dictates us. We hate being “different”. We (wrongly) feel “safe” being in line with the masses.

Stop being safe.

Stop being common.

Happy new year, with disease and misery!

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Most of us do not want to be reminded of the basic element of life. For all of you that had the courage to continue reading this wire despite its despicable title, I have one reminder: health is overrated! We do not know what Life is. And yet we are afraid of not-living. We do not know why we are in this world, but we are grateful for Life. And yet, we deny its basic ingredient: death. The majority of us – me included – is afraid of death and disease. But as Shestov said, when was the last time that the majority found the correct answer for a serious philosophical question? Never. And if we must listen to someone, this is the voice of the Illogical in this matter. Who wants to die healthy after all? Let us look at the Mystery of Life through the liberating vision of misery and disease and not with the coward eyes of the western human, who while being too much attached to the material aspect of life forgets its essence.

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Doctor strikes & mortality rates. A strange relation…

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When doctors are on strike, the mortality rate stays the same or, many times, falls!!! [1234] Sometimes common logic is based on nothing else than common misconceptions…

> Updated the relevant section of the Religion and Science Unification article.

A world without Pain. Be careful what you wish for…

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How would you like to live a life without pain? A young girl named Ashlyn does have this “unfortunate luck”: she cannot feel any pain at all!

At school, she was once asked if she was Superman. Could she feel a punch to the face? Could she walk across burning coals as if she were walking on grass? Would it hurt if she were stabbed in the arm? The answers are no, no, yes, no. She can feel pressure and texture. She can feel a hug and a handshake. She felt her best friend, Katie, paint her toenails. “People don’t get me!” she said one night while we played checkers on her iPod. “Everyone in my class asks me about it, and I say, ‘I can feel pressure, but I can’t feel pain.’ Pain! I cannot feel it! I always have to explain that to them”.

At the clinic where she was born they drew Ashlyn’s blood and took scans of her brain and her spine, but the tests were inconclusive. Over the next 18 months, there were more tests. A nerve biopsy from the back of her leg left stitches that ripped when she was running. When the doctor finally gave his diagnosis, Tara was afraid she would forget the words, so she asked him to write them down. The doctor took out a business card and wrote on the back: “Congenital insensitivity to pain”.

Her story as posted on The New York Times here is fascinating.

And it reveals a secret that we, who can feel pain, often forget (or to be more precise: we never learned from anyone in the first place): that pain is a guide we all need in life. Living without pain is difficult.

The stories about how useful pain can be are astonishing. There was the one about the fire ants that swarmed Ashlynin the backyard, biting her over a hundred times while she looked at them and yelled: “Bugs! Bugs!” There was the time she broke her ankle and ran around on it for two days before her parents realized something was wrong.

Yes, we should all learn from these exceptional rare cases. Things we wish for (i.e. a world without pain) could be a disguised curse.

I just wander. How many other such cases of wrong perceptions do we have instilled into our limited minds?